Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) NEW! PDF ReportPRO

The Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) state-administered 529 savings program utilizes Vanguard and Dimensional mutual funds, the State Treasurer's fixed-income fund, and an FDIC-insured account in its five different age-based options and nine static portfolio options.


In Savingforcollege.com's latest quarterly rankings, this plan ranked in the top 10 for 1-year, 3-year, 5-year and/or 10-year performance.

Resident Rating
Non-Resident Rating

Savingforcollege.com's 5-Cap Ratings provides an evaluation and comparison of 529 plans, utilizing a formula that examines dozens of factors grouped into the following categories. (Scale 0 to 5; 5 is highest)

Performance Costs Features Reliability Resident Upgrade
4.42 4.18 3.47 5.00 0.35


Program type:


How to enroll:

Enroll directly with the program.

Initial year of operation:


State agency(ies):

Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority

Program manager:

Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority

Program distributor:

Not applicable.

Manager contract term:

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State residency requirements:


Who can be a participant/owner in the program?

Individuals at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Significant time or age restrictions imposed by the program:

None. The requirement that distributions begin by a certain age or date was removed in 2008.


Maximum contributions:

Accepts contributions until all account balances in Utah's 529 plan for the same beneficiary reach $430,000.

Minimum contributions:

No minimum.

Investment Options

Age-based investment options:

Four age-based investment options, with different underlying investments and risk levels, are offered. Contributions are allocated among the underlying investments according to the option selected and the age of the beneficiary, and are reallocated to become more conservative as the beneficiary approaches college age. A fifth, the Customized Age-Based investment option allows for a customized account asset allocation from as many as 22 underlying investments, and automatically reallocates to a new customized underlying investment allocation each time the beneficiary's age qualifies for the next of seven possible age brackets.

Static investment options:

Eight static investment options are offered, allowing selection among one individual-fund index portfolio, one fixed income multi-fund portfolio, four equity-index multi-fund portfolios, an FDIC-insured account held in trust by UESP at Sallie Mae Bank and U.S. Bank National Association (U.S. Bank), and the State Treasurers' Investment Fund (one for Non-Utah residents and one for Utah residents). A ninth, the Customized Static Option, allows for a customized mix of investments using as many as 27 underlying fund choices.

Underlying investments:

16 Vanguard mutual funds, six Dimensional mutual funds, FDIC-insured accounts held in trust by UESP at Sallie Mae Bank and U.S. Bank National Association (U.S. Bank, and the Utah Public Treasurers' Investment Fund.

Underlying fund allocations:

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Portfolio Fees & Performance Lookup

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See Investment Options

Fees & Expenses

Enrollment or application fee:


Account maintenance fee:

Administrative Mail Delivery Fee: $2 per $1,000 of account balance up to a maximum of $12 annually. Fee is waived for Utah residents and for non-Utah residents who agree to electronic delivery of quarterly account statements.

Program management fees:

Ranges from 0.11% to 0.20%, except the State Public Treasurers' Investment Fund incurs no additional expenses for Utah residents.

Expenses of the underlying investments:

Ranges from 0.011% to 0.046%, except the State Public Treasurers' Investment Fund and the FDIC-Insured option incur no additional expenses.

Total asset-based expense ratio:

0.156% - 0.210% (Utah residents 0.000% - 0.210%) for UESP investment options excluding the Customized Age-Based and the Customized Static options. The Customized Static and Age-Based options range is 0.200% - 0.598%, depending on the investment mix selected by the account owner.

Taxes and other Benefits

Program match on contributions:


State tax deduction or credit for contributions:

Contributions to the Utah 529 plan of up to $1,920 in 2017 per beneficiary by an individual, and up to $3,840 in 2017 per beneficiary by a married couple filing jointly, are eligible for a 5% credit against Utah income tax. The maximum credit in 2017 is $96 per beneficiary for single taxpayers and $192 per beneficiary for joint filers. The credit limits are increased each year for inflation, but not decreased for deflation. Contributions to an account established after a beneficiary reaches age 19 are not eligible. Contributions from a non-owner are creditable by the account owner and not by the non-owner/contributor. Contribution deadline is receipt by December 31 for online processing; December 29 for manual processing.

State tax recapture provisions:

The principal portion of rollovers and nonqualified withdrawals from this plan are included in Utah taxable income to the extent of prior Utah tax deductions or Utah tax credits. Nonqualified withdrawals for this purpose do not include withdrawals eligible for federal penalty waiver.

State tax treatment of qualified distributions:

Qualified distributions from Utah and non-Utah 529 plans are exempt.

State tax treatment of rollovers:

Utah follows federal tax-free treatment except that outbound rollovers are subject to the recapture of prior state tax deductions or tax credits.

Does the sponsoring state exclude the value of an account for state financial aid purposes?


Does participation in the program provide beneficiaries with any advantages in qualifying for resident tuition status at state institutions?

No, except that for accounts opened before May 5, 2008, beneficiaries may receive in-state tuition at an eligible Utah school if they held a UESP account and lived in Utah for eight consecutive years prior to moving out of state.

Does the program have a formal agreement with a rewards program or outside scholarship program?


Statutory protection of an account from creditors:

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Distributions & Terminations

To whom are distributions made payable:

Eligible educational institution, beneficiary, or account owner, as directed by the account owner.

Account Changes

Policy regarding participant/owner changes:

Accepts requests to transfer account ownership.

Documents, Access & Reporting

Does participant have online password-protected access to account?


Can the complete enrollment process including funding be done online?


Documents and other services accessible or downloadable on the program's public Web site:

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